Once upon a time obits in The New York Times were impeccable. Marble headstones could be etched from their facts. Now, alas, in an otherwise excellent notice on the unfortunate recent passing of Czech-born soprano Jarmila Novotna, obituary writer Edward Rothstein noted Ms. Novotna arrived in New York in 1940, by her account "the day Hitler marched into Prague." Herr Hitler "marched into" the lovely Czech capital a year earlier, March 15, 1939.
Why am I most offended by strident, flag-waving car clearance commercials playing off Presidents Day (with chintzy art of Washington and Lincoln), when the car dealerships are those of Mitsubishi?
This may be apocryphal but when Paige Rense of Architectural Digest threatened to "spank" new Conde Nast editorial boss James Truman if he started giving her orders, Mr. Truman sent her a note. "Your place or mine?"
Not apocryphal, CBS chief Howard Stringer's cry of mock outrage when I encountered him on the stair of the Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan just after lunch. "There I was," complained Mr. Stringer, "at the very next table to Barry Diller's. And I couldn't hear a thing!"
Newsweek named Richard Ofstun its Boston ad manager.
rejoined Metropolitan Home as senior design editor. He'd taken three years out to work in Dallas and New Orleans on other stuff.
Peggy Wilson will be covering the Caribbean (not a bad beat) as Gourmet's ad manager there.
Does anyone else have a queasy feeling this is all moving too fast? I just got a press release from Kenneth Felberbaum, publisher of "the first Vietnam Business Yellow Pages."
Martin Shapiro joined Forbes as director of section and conference sales.
Bride's Publisher Roger Antin says the magazine will celebrate its 60th year in business with promotional events in Hawaii, the Bahamas and New York and an anniversary issue for August/September, on sale July 1; ad space closing May 3. So there.
Milo O'Shea, that splendid actor, just signed with the Artists Group East, a New York talent agency, for commercial product endorsements.
In Los Angeles the Advertising Industry Emergency Fund is urging victims of the earthquake to apply for assistance in a series of public service announcements. The fund used to concentrate on helping unemployed ad folks facing catastrophic illness and this is a major expansion of its efforts. Good work, done well.
Sandra Goroff-Mailly, the publicist who did such a smashing job for Houghton Mifflin getting ink for its new American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language in 1992 (the dictionary soared near the top of the best seller list of the The New York Times), opened her own PR firm in Boston.
Your Pet! the new magazine, held its launch party finally at Rebar in Manhattan after having been snowed out the first time.
Sloppy work by WCBS Radio in New York. Two days into the Olympics they were still running "Olympic Previews" on the hockey playing Ferraro twins. Days earlier one twin had already been cut from the U.S. team.
But good work from sister station WCBS-TV whose Marcia Kramer did an expose of school board members from the poorest nabes taking lavish vacations in Vegas, the Carib and Hawaii at city expense while kids in their districts can't read or add and schools can't afford pencils and books.
Luce Press Clippings, Mesa, Ariz., has a new newsletter out, The Luce Media Report.
The redone (and handsomely so) Travel Holiday magazine, complete with new logo, emerged with its February issue plus new features conjured up by Editor Maggie Simmons.
Samantha Loomis joined Departures magazine supervising ad sales for some New York travel accounts and others in New England and Canada.
Big doings in Chicago where the Fifth International Theatre Festival will be held May 24 to June 19.
A 10th anniversary coming with a special March/April issue for National Geographic Traveler magazine. It'll feature 10 of our best State Parks and 50 of our "most scenic drives." Re the latter, I assume the Long Island Expressway will not be among them.